How does SalomĂŠ move? Like a body in water.
THE QUESTION In the bible, Salomé danced. She danced for her step-father Herod in exchange for the head of John the Baptist. Her dance was a commodity, her movement a bartering chip, sold for a man’s life.
What if Salomé’s dance was not a payment, but an expression? How would her dance change? How would Salome move?
When I ask; “How does Salomé move?”, I am asking, how does your mother, your best friend, your sister, your child, in the moments when they are free? THE IMAGE What does a body look like, feel like, move like, when it is freed from the mechanisation of the body by capitalist society? How does that movement, link to current women’s social, economic and political locations, and ability to change said conditions? 1. It is a photographic wet-albumen print of two women swimming from the 1920’s. She has been a: 1. Biblical story 2. It is a book jacket for a collection of American photographs. 2. 16 Aubrey Beardsley illustrations and an Oscar Wilde play 3. It is a discarded item from the Courtauld Libraries collection. 3. A mania, Salomania 4. An opera by Richard Strauss. 4. It is an image taped opposite the toilet- later taken down. She is “A tragedy in one act.” “She is like, a woman rising from a tomb.“ She is “Built of second hand images and first-hand experiences.” Veils and 16 pictures.
5. It is an aspiration, a framed icon, a poster in a gallery.
There was a stack of images: Waxy, embossed and informative, left discarded by the libraries door. It wasnt the only bookcover, leaflet or auction house catalogue I salvaged. But, as I moved eight, nine times, other images were shedded and lost. As the image became, torn, stained and broken, I elevated its importance, from box, to tape, to frame.
A SELECTED LIST OF ASPIRATIONAL BODIES 1. A STILL OF JOSEPHINE BAKER DANCING THE CHACHA. 2. A STILL OF CHRISTINA RICCI IN BLACK SNAKE MOAN DANCING TO THE BLUES. 3. A SCAN OF ROSIE’S PAINTING ‘LOTUS’ (2017). 4. THE IDEA MY MOTHER. OUT LATE. DANCING ALONE TO COPE WITH HER DIVORCE. Referenced by a photograph. 5. A quote about ISADORA DUNCAN and LOIE FULLER. 6. THE LINES OF UTAGAWA KUNIYOSHI Shown by A PRINT OF SEA WITCH.
ANNOUNCEMENT “It’s freedom.”. A free body.
An aspirational body.
A body in water.
A body in water is the original body.
9. THE DRAWINGS OF YOICHIRO KAWAGUCHI’S INSTALLATION PLANS; WOBBLY BODIES. Found in a Cardiff bookshop, before swapping email addresses with a Spanish woman, whom I regret standing up. 10. SILVIA FEDERICI’S DESCRIPTION OF THE FREE BODY. FROM TREMATE, TREMATE EXHIBITION CATALOGUE. 11. LOTTE ANDERSON DISCUSSING THE PROJECT ‘DANCE THERAPY’. 12. ANNA ROGER’S THOUGHTS ON CLUB CULTURE VIA WHATSAPP. 13. PAINTINGS FROM 18 YEARS OF AGE of FLOATING BODIES AND SWIMMING BODIES.
7. YAYOI KUSAMA’S DESCRIPTION OF HER BLOSSOMING CREATIVITY IN INFINITY NET.
14. ROOM FOR REBELLION’S POLITICAL PARTY.
8. THE AWAKENING- IN THE ‘AWAKENING’ Kate Chopin.
16. A SONOGRAM.
15. A STILL OF GRACE JONES.
A COLLAGE OF BORROWED/ SHARED WORDS, IMAGES AND EXPERIENCES, IN AN ATTEMPT TO BUILD AN EVER EXPANDING PERSONIFICATION OF THE BIBLICAL MYTH OF SALOMÉAS AN UNIVERSAL, EMANCIPATED EXPERIENCE OF MOVEMENT.
“Our struggle then must begin with the re-appropriation of our body, the revaluation and rediscovery of its capacity for resistance, and expansion and celebration of its powers, individual and collective. Dance is central to this re-appropriation. In essence, the act of dancing is an exploration and invention of that a body can do: of its capacities, its languages, its articulations of the strivings of our being. I have come to believe that there is a philosophy in dancing, for dance mimics the processes with which we relate to the world, connects with other bodies, transform ourselves and the space around us.”.
Tremate, Tremate, Silvia Fedderici
“I wanted to liberate myself from this ‘unknown something’, to pluck my spirit from the Stygian pools of emotion and fling it beyond eternity. And now, at last, I had set that spirit free in the very chaos of the vacuum.”, Yayoi Kusama, Infinity net
“I find the concept of physical therapy and bodywork interesting, and specifically the ways in which we can heal trauma through connection to the body. Dance Therapy was naturally informed by my own early explorations into club culture, music and dance. The club always felt like a site where I could be me and physically express myself in a body that I couldn’t always control. These experiences were so spiritual and visceral that I set out to try and capture those fleeting moments of euphoria and transcendence in a reimagined club space... People have left feeling elated, energised and optimistic, others described on a sensation of feeling surrounded and watched. It struck me how interpreting the experience of being surrounded by constantly shifting supersized moving bodies was totally dependant on who is watching.” Lotte Anderson, 2017.
“We dance for choice and bodily autonomy.”. Lora/ Room for Rebellion, (2017).
“Isadora sculpts, Loïe paints.”. Salome moves.
“she swam she seemed to be reaching out for the unlimited in which to lose herself.”. Kate Chopin, the awakening in The Awakening
“Something that’s on my own terms and when I’m surrounded by my female friends in a club I feel unstoppable because I can move my body in exactly the way I want to and there are no consequences. The threat of violence is depleted but its not like being at home- it’s like letting go as theres still that element of beinf out of control, but it’s a very specific environment. Because ultimately, that control lies within that we are going to keep eachother safe- its an unspoken agreement.”
Anna Rogers, whatsapp. 2017.